If there’s one thing Pokemon know how to do, it’s fight. Now the question remains: Do you? The answer to that question can be tested this month as GameStop gets ready to host a Pokken Tournament tournament (you read that right) that will pit players against one another in pocket-monster-sized fisticuffs.

Details for the event come to us via Destructoid, who snagged some info from Nintendo this morning.

In case you’ve missed out on the hubbub, Pokken Tournament is an upcoming fighting game that ditches the trainers and Pokeballs and lets several of the Pokemon series’ most fearsome fighters duke it out in one-on-one combat.

Since the Pokemon series is all about capturing woodland critters, spiriting them away from their home and forcing them to fight time and time again, it’s nice to see that Pokken Tournament is all about these creatures fighting because they choose to, not because thye must.

It was recently announced that Pokken Tournament would be a new prong of the Pokemon World Championship and, starting Feb. 27, folks who want to qualify for the event need simply drop by a designated GameStop to qualify for the senufubaks in the newly remodeled Nintendo World Store in New York. That showdown will take place on March 17. Then, from July 1-3, the top two players will head to Ohio to compete in the finals. From there, they may qualify for the World Championship.

Following is a list of stores participating in the qualifying rounds.

-2201 Preston Road, Plano, TX
-1841 Chamblee Tucker Road, Chamblee, GA
-3972 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA
-8115 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL
-6451 W. Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL
-242 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA
-32 E. 14th St. – Union Square, New York, NY
-3914 Rivermark Plaza, Santa Clara, CA

I know what you’re thinking: How the heck am I supposed to compete in this tournament if the game isn’t even out yet? The good news is, this means that everyone in the U.S. should be on about equal footing. The extra good news is, if you happen to win a trip to New York, you’ll also be given some training sessions with a Pokken Tournament pro.

Otherwise, you’re basically limited to doing as much cramming as humanly possible via Youtube and various forums. You could also try playing various other Pokemon games. That won’t help you in the least, actually, but at least it will distract you from the overwhelming odds.

Honestly, your best bet is probably playing pretty much any fighting game you can get your hands on. From Mortal Kombat to Street Fighter, most fighting game skills translate well between titles. Good luck!

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